ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Belmont County commissioners addressed several ongoing projects during their Wednesday meeting.
Commissioners answered questions about the changeover of senior services from the DJFS to a separate department. Richard Hord inquired if a close-out report by DJFS could be delivered. Commissioner Charles R. Probst, Jr. said this was a possibility, as were regular reports.
Michael Bianconi further inquired about the possibility of comparing DJFS accomplishments with the new department's intentions. Commissioner Ginny Favede said such an approach might create a hostile atmosphere among employees.
Probst emphasized the board's first priority was the seniors.
Speaking as an individual senior, Clarence Briggs expressed approval that the senior committee will be reformed to represent seniors at all the centers.
Meanwhile, commissioners held a public hearing with Mark Esposito, director of Belmont County Sanitary Sewer District, to approve water and sewer rates effective Nov. 1, 2013. As a result, Bellaire's rate of 3.863 was set at 4.150; St. Clairsville's 3.500 was set at 3.794, Belmont's 4.040 was set at 4.334; as were rates at Flushing, New Athens, Morristown and the Tri-County. Sewer rates at Morristown and Belmont were set from 4.753 to 5.671.
Esposito noted water increased on average by about 29.5 cents per 1,000 gallons and the sewage 92 centers per thousand. He noted the county is having ongoing talks with area industries regarding the possibility of selling water.
Commissioners also held a subdivision hearing for Kimberly Drive in Union Township and motioned to grant the final plat.
Commissioners motioned to adopt a resolution approving the county's 2013 Hazard Mitigation Plan. EMA Director David Ivan reported flash flooding was a major concern.
"We're looking at those issues, and should money become available, we're looking at these projects to upgrade them," Ivan said, adding that goals include increasing culvert size. In the event of a disaster declaration anywhere in Ohio, they can apply for funds for mitigation projects.
Commissioners accepted a public road petition for the vacation of all Union Township Road 377, or Polland Farm Road, located in Union Township.
Commissioners will hold a continued hearing for road improvement Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m. for the vacation of a portion of Kirkwood Township Road.
Commissioners advised the Ohio Division of Liquor Control that the board does not request a hearing for a request for a stock transfer of liquor permit for Flying S. Wings, Inc., DBA Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar.
Board also does not request a hearing for Osaka Steak House.
Commissioners approved the certification of delinquent accounts from the county sanitary sewer district to the auditor to be placed on taxes for 2013.
Commissioners approved the purchase of new and replacement equipment for the sanitary sewer district, including new 2014 International 7600 SBA 6X4 truck through an ODOT cooperative purchase contract for $102,635, and the purchase of a replacement 2013 case four wheel drive backhoe through a state cooperative purchasing agreement for $83,229.30.
Commissioners will apply for the Governor's Office of Appalachia grant funding in the amount of $100,000 and commit matching funds of $407,765 for the Ohio Valley Sanitary Sewer Extension Project. Probst noted that this is the first phase of upgrades around the mall areas. Probst said considerable interest and development is expected to be forthcoming. Total project should be $2.5 million and the second phase will include the sizing of lines and pumps in the pump station to meet the increased capacities. Favede added that Fox Shannon upgrades total $5 million for a total of $6,805,000 of sanitary sewer projects on the projects list.
"There's new construction going on all over Belmont County," Commissioner Matt Coffland said, agreeing that infrastructure was necessary to expand.
Commissioners motioned to adopt the Government Entity Depository Resolution for a new free business checking account with WesBanco Bank, Inc.
Cindi Henry, fiscal officer of Richland Township, was appointed to the 911 board effective immediately through Dec. 31, 2014 to fill the unexpired term of retired Pease Township Trustee Michael Bianconi.
Commissioners motioned to accept an estimate from Flag Floors of Barnesville, LLC for $544.25 to provide and install 12X12 ceramic tile in two bathrooms for Judge Frank Fregiato's Common Pleas Court renovation.
Commissioners adopted a resolution to convene a meeting of the 911 planning committee to consider necessary amendments to the 911 final plan.
Commissioners adopted a resolution authorizing Clemens Nelson & Associates to assist in recruiting a new DJFS director and perform other necessary services under the existing retainer. The vote was two to one with Coffland dissenting.
Commissioners resolved that the non-bargaining unit DJFS employee being transferred in and/or employed by the commissioners Nov. 1, 2013 as part of the senior services transition shall have the option to transfer her then-unused vacation time at JFS as her total starting balance as an employee under the commissioners, with bi-weekly pay-period accrual to follow. The vote was two to one with Coffland dissenting on the grounds that it related to the changeover.
Commissioners approved and directed outside counsel Isaac, Wiles, Burkholder and Teetor LLC to advise and represent the board in negotiations with the Belmont County Transportation Improvement District concerning proposed plans.
Commissioners signed a letter of engagement with Julian & Grube, Inc. for auditing services relative to Senior Services of Belmont County at the rate of $75 per hour with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2014.
Commissioners motioned to authorize Hacker to sign the Western States Contracting Alliance Agreement for the purchase of Verizon Wireless services and products for Senior Services.
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